Oilers get boost from Fedun visit

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:27 AM ET

EDMONTON - Taylor Fedun was wheeled into the Edmonton Oilers dressing room on Sunday, a source of inspiration for a club preparing to drop the puck on the NHL regular season.

Fedun’s season came to an abrupt end 10 days ago during an exhibition contest in Minnesota, when he crashed into the end boards on an icing race, breaking his right leg.

After emergency surgery to repair a fractured femur, and a week in a Minnesota hospital, the local product was back home.

“I feel good, I’m trying to stay positive through the entire thing,” Fedun said. “Some days are a little bit easier than others and that’s obviously something that I’ve already been able to come to terms with and (Sunday)has already been a great day for me.

“It’s nice to have a start like that and keep on moving on.”

Fedun suffered a compound fracture on the play. He had to have a rod inserted into his leg, held in place by a pair of screws down towards his knee and another two up by his hip.

He was told the injury wasn’t necessarily career ending.

“They were very good about that and were optimistic that with the right attitude and taking the necessary steps with rehab and everything, that it’ll be something I can come back from,” he said. “It actually looks very good, they did an outstanding job.”

Fedun’s injury opened the long debate about touch icing in the NHL. It’s the only league in the world where touch icing still exists.

The Oilers prospect, who was having an outstanding training camp was tripped up by Wild forward Eric Nystrom on the race for the puck.

“Obviously it’s fairly upsetting for me. That rule is why I’m in the position I am right now,” Fedun said. “I think it’s too bad that it takes something like this to happen, to be having this conversation right now. It’s something that I think should be looked at and should be re-evaluated.

“I was talking to a friend of mine (Saturday) night and he brought up a great point that if you look at everybody that’s playing in the league right now, they’ve all grown up without that rule. And you get to this level, that’s the first time you see it.”

Undrafted, Fedun, 23, played four years at Princeton University before signing a free-agent contract with the Oilers last March.

He was joined in the Oilers dressing room by his father Dwayne, who witnessed the injury on television, he rushed to be by his son’s side.

“It’s nice to get him home,” Dwayne said. “Anybody that has kids, you see this and you see him in pain, it’s tough.

“That first couple of days, there was a lot of pain in that leg. But we’re so proud of him, he’s working through this, he was up the day after and started therapy two or three days in, he was going up and down stairs in crutches. He got great care there and he’s come a long way.”

There is no timeline on Fedun’s return.

However, the Oilers plan on keeping him around, helping out in whatever capacity he’s able to.

“He’s a very good young player and I was telling him that we had him penciled in to play in Vancouver, too. That’s how much of a statement he was making at training camp,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “He’ll have that jersey on again where we’ll get another look at him. In the meantime, he’s in good spirits, he showed us the pictures of the break and it’s incredible what modern medicine can do and what the prognosis is, which is terrific.

“We’re talking to him about figuring out a way where we can keep him busy. He’s a very intelligent kid, really understands the game. He might be able to help out Billy (Moores) on the development side of things or us on the video side. Whatever, it’s inclusion, he’s an Oiler.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

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